To ask the Secretary of State for Energy (1) if he will assess the availability and potential during the calendar year 1988 of oil-related fabrication work in the United Kingdom; if he will express that total capacity of availability as a percentage of the total capacity of the United Kingdom fabrication sector; and if he will make a statement;(2) if, following his recent meeting with a delegation from local authorities within the Highlands, he will assess the availability and potential for oil-related fabrication work in the area; and if he will make a statement.
During the course of 1988 we expect that new contracts for oil-related fabrication work of around 100,000 tonnes will be awarded. This work will come from projects already approved and from others currently under consideration. I am very much aware of the difficulties which the United Kingdom fabrication industry faces and of the continuing overcapacity within it. Virtually all fabrication work for United Kingdom continental shelf development is won by United Kingdom-based companies and United Kingdom yards, including those in the Scottish Highlands. Securing new work will depend on being competitive and maintaining good labour relations.